Wikipedia:Size in volumes

This page displays the current size of a hypothetical print edition of the English Wikipedia (without images) in print volumes, per mathematical calculation.

3070 volumes
16 stacks
Human outline.svg

Assumptions and calculationsEdit

Encyclopædia Britannica: two rows of volumes in shelves
  • As of 17 November 2021, Special:Statistics showed 4,000,129,529 words across 6,410,000 articles implying an average of 624 words per article.
  • As of 2021, 33,201 GB (=33,997,900,893 bytes) across four billion words, implying 8.3 bytes/word. ASCII uses 1 byte/character which in turn implies 8.3 characters/word. However, this includes wikimarkup, and 5 char/word plus one for space or punctuation mark is standard, so 6 characters/word will be assumed.
  • There are currently 6,558,040 articles, which means 4.0924792816×10^9 words, which means 2.45548756896×10^10 characters.
  • One volume: 25cm high, 5cm thick. 500 leaves, 2 pagefaces per leaf, 2 columns per pageface, 80 rows/column, 50 characters per row. So one volume = 8,000,000 characters, or 1,333,333 words, or 2,136.6 articles. (Pictures not included!)
  • Thus, the text of the English Wikipedia is currently equivalent to 3,069.4 volumes of Encyclopædia Britannica.
    • In other words, Wikipedia is approximately 95.92 times the size of Encyclopædia Britannica.

Print WikipediaEdit

The Print Wikipedia installation

In June 2015, artist Michael Mandiberg (User:Theredproject) generated a 7,473-volume print-ready collection of the English Wikipedia in PDF format, printed wallpaper representing the spines of the books, and printed over 100 volumes through print on demand service Lulu, as part of an art installation at the Denny Gallery in New York City. The table of contents alone took 91 volumes to list the nearly 11.5 million articles.[1][2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (16 June 2015). "Moving Wikipedia From Computer to Many, Many Bookshelves". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Github site mandiberg/printwikipedia". Retrieved 2015-07-02.

External linksEdit